Ecclestone agrees with drivers
Berine Ecclestone says he agrees with the complaints by the trade union of drivers saying the sport’s decision-making process is “obsolete and ill-structured”.
The letter seen by BBC News says “It is not always easy to agree with you but you are correct. We must, as you have stated, urge the owners and all stakeholders of F1 to consider restructuring its governance.” Ecclestone asked the drivers to give him ideas on how to improve the situation.
The deal with Sky Sports was a concern with the letter coming on the day it was announced that F1 would no longer be shown live on free-to-air TV in the UK from 2019 as a result of a new deal with Sky.
While there weren’t any specific concerns it is known that the elimination style qualifying was one of them. There has been issues with tyres and the way the suppliers are chosen.
But the issues are with the strategy group which Ecclestone doesn’t like is he can be out voted saying he sees as the stranglehold of Mercedes and Ferrari on rule-making risks “destroying” F1
Gary Brabham convicted of rape
The son of Sir Jack Brabham has been found guilty of raping a six-year-old girl. Gary Brabham was accused of touching a girl in a sexual way when she was between six and ten.
Mr Brabham was convicted of the rape charge but was cleared of five out of six indecent treatment of a child. Brisbane’s District Court previously heard the second-born son of Sir Jack sexually assaulted the girl while she was sat on his lap in a car.
The court heard the girl became sick when Brabham touched her on the chest. The offences were committed between 2003-2007 and he pleaded not guilty to the charges. Brabham is the son of Australian racing driver Sir Jack who was Formula One champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966.
Sir Jack died in 2014.Gary Brabham had raced in Formula Ford and the British Formula 3 championship. He was the first Australian to race in the Gold Coast IndyCar.
C4 takes stock after Sky deal
Channel 4 says it will take stock after Sky announced an exclusive deal to broadcast all races apart from the British Grand Prix live. The deal shocked many when it was announced they had brought rights for every race.
C4 was asked by Autosport whether C4 would wish to continue as a highlights-only provider from 2019, the channel’s head of F1 Stephen Lyle said: “It’s a bit early for that because we’ve only just picked up the news.
“As far as I’m concerned the news that broke yesterday doesn’t affect our contract we have at the moment, so nothing has really changed on that score in terms of how we are approaching it.
He says the broadcaster wasn’t aware of the deal as they were concentrating on delivering F1 for this season, and the next two seasons.
Elimination qualifying remains for Bahrain
The elimination qualifying format will remain for next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix before a further review of the elimination system to follow that race.
The decision was made at a meeting of the Commission a group of representatives from the teams, the FIA, Formula One Management, race promoters, sponsors and other technical partners. The belief is that they want to give it another go before changing it.
F1 boss Berine Ecclestone told Autosport “”They’re going to do what I proposed, which is leave things as they are for this race [in Bahrain].
“After that we will then have a good look and decide whether what was done was the right thing to do, the wrong thing to do, does it need modifying, does it need scrapping?” he said it was a FIA idea in the first place.
A hybrid version of qualifying was on the table as an option for the Commission. This was the knock-out format would have remained for Q1 & Q2 with Q3 being a shoot out.
The decision comes as a complete volte face to what occurred in Melbourne on Sunday when the team principals voted for an immediate change.
Baku could be fastest circuit
The F1 circuit designer Hermann Tilke says the Baku circuit could become the fastest on the calendar. Tilke says he thinks one lap of the circuit will be 1:41 with the most challenging corners at Turn 8 of 126mph.
Speaking to Autosport he said “There is no track like Baku City Circuit. It will be one of the most exciting ones on the calendar.”
“Baku, of course, is not comparable with any of the permanent circuits because it is a city circuit. But even when compared to city circuits, Baku is unique.” He says there are many factors which will make it appealing with speed and the narrow streets.
He says city circuits are always challenging to build but they have successfully solved every problem.